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JAN. 25, 1833.]
The Tariff Bill.
[H. OF R.
when Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and New York, two hundred and fifteen thousand dollars. My policy, sir, were almost alone in maintaining the republican maxim has uniformly been liberal in regard to our national exof “principles, not men.” We were defeated, sir; but penditures, in some instances even more so than the comwe have survived the contest: we are still acting together, mittee that reported this bill. But I had supposed, that and in a greater cause: and I trust that, whatever specu. considering the increase of our expenditures for internal lative differences of opinion may exist, we may, in a pa. improvement subsequent to 1824, and that that branch of triotic spirit of mutual concession, continue forever united expenditure would be necessarily diminished, we might, in measures to preserve the harmony, the constitution, and without detriment to the public service, apply such dithe Union of our country, Our State has hitherto re- minution to those objects which have attracted the attensponded to every appeal to her patriotism and justice, tion of the committee. I may be told, sir, of extraordinary and I feel assured, sir, that she will not be found wanting expenditures for pensions, Indian wars, &c.; but how, in the present most interesting crisis in our affairs. may I ask, are we to employ the millions which must in
The gentlemen from Georgia and from Ohio (Mr. Vin, evitably accumulate in the treasury before we can pos. tox] must pardon me for deprecating the character and sibly reach, under any modification of the tariff, the ten lency of their remarks. The political allusions of the minimum duties it is proposed permanently to establish? former to coalitions, past or prospective, and the pictures Your bank stock is an offset to your public debt, leaving of the latter, of rivers of blood, and millions of our your whole surplus for years to come applicable to any slaughtered countrymen, are poorly calculated to lead us temporary excess of expenditure. Had the bill of the to a calm, dispassionate, and just decision of the measure committee become a law as reported, in three years the under consideration. The gentleman from Georgia must probable excess of revenue, according to their own stateexcuse me for saying that the course of the gentleman ments submitted, would have amounted to between thirfrom Ohio is most politic, and best adapted to accomplish teen and fourteen millions. Besides, we must consider his purpose, which is to defeat the bill. If we are to be the effect of substituting revenue rates for prohibitory driven from a cool, candid, and just examination of this duties, or duties having a prohibitory tendency. Reduce question; if geographical prejudices are to be substituted our imposts as we may, sir, we shall not avoid, for some for national patriotism-passion and imagination for reason years to come, a surplus of revenue beyond the wants of and judgment—then, sir, may we abandon all hope of Government. Why then should we make provision for any adjustment whatever, now or hereafter. I had hoped, two millions additional revenue? If our revenue was sir, that we should have excluded from this debate all ar- stutionary or retrograding, there might be some reason for guments addressed to our political hopes or fears; all ap- it; but, with a population, trade, and revenue uniformly peals to our local jealousies. Our country has surely progressive, our difficulty is not how to provide for a desuffered enough in the last seventeen years, from the un- ficiency, but how to guard against too great a surplus of happy influence of personal ambition, whether of the East, revenue. Establish your minimum revenue where you the West, the North, or the South; our sectional preju- may, and you will find it outstripping your estimate in a dices have been appealed to, and our. Union has been very few years, and demanding a further reduction. Our brought to the verge of dissolution. I had hoped, sir, permanent expenditures will reach fifteen millions soon that for once we might have a truce of politics; that for enough, without any suggestion or provision by the comonce we might meet on broad national ground; and, dis- mittee. The inevitable effect of providing a surplus of recarding every local, personal, or political consideration, venue, will be to encourage extravagance in our federal debate and adjust a question upon which certainly the expenditures; the latter will always overtake the former, harmony, and perhaps the integrity, of the Union may make it what you may; the proposition of the committee depend.
is essentially nothing less than a recommendation to perSir, the difficulties about this question are not so great petuate an additional revenue of near two millions from as they were—not so formidable as gentlemen imagine. imposts. The chief obstacle is now removed. We now hear on all We have another expedient, sir, from an opposite sides the republican doctrine, that our revenues must be quarter, designed to augment, permanently, our revenue reduced to the amount necessary for our federal expen- duties to the extent of three millions annually.
We are ditures. I congratulate you, sir, and every friend of his to lose our income from public lands. We are not, sir, country, on this important concession of the opponents disregarding special obligations, about to adopt a more of this bill, on this great revolution in the sentiment of parental and enlarged policy in regard to our public dothis House. The main point is settled; we have now only main. We are not rejecting all unnatural jealousies, and to adjust the minor questions of the amount necessary for rejoicing, as we ought to do, to see our population spread. our annual expenditures, the mode of the reduction, and ing to the borders of Mexico, and to the extreme mounthe time when this adjustment of our revenues shall be tains of the West. We are not about removing every obmade.
struction to the growth, prosperity, or improvement of It is with regret, sir, that I differ with the committee every portion of our vast territory. No, sir; the propowho reported this bill, and who deserve so much credit sition springs from no friendship to the rising West; it for the zeal and ability they have displayed in adjusting does not propose to discontinue the revenue from public the details of a very difficult measure. But in assuming fif. lands, but to draw from thence an annual income to be teen millions as the amount of revenue necessary for our distributed by the Federal Government among the several federal expenditures, they have, I think, made an unfor- States; in order, sir, that this deficiency may be supplied tunate admission. Because we are out of debt, we must by an augmentation of our revenue from customs, and not be prodigal. The States are not in the same condition; that an equal tax may be levied upon the country in ano. the debt of Pennsylvania is in a ratio to a federal debt of ther form! Nay, sir, it is still worse; the States are to reone hundred and eighty millions; and we should not for- ceive about three millions, that the people of those States get that the largest portion of the burdens of the country may pay back annually into the federal treasury the same are necessarily authorized by our town, city, county, and three millions, together with all the expenses of collecState Governments. Our federal expenditures have in- tion! Such is the scheme of finance recommended to us creased faster than our population; the average for the by gentlemen of intelligence and distinction. They must first seven years after the adoption of our constitutionpardon me, sir, if I cannot perceive the substantial differwas less than two million seven hundred thousand dollars; ence between this proposition and another for distributthat for 1822—3—'4, was about ten millions, including ing our surplus revenue among the States, which, not pensions; and that for 1829, '30, and '31, thirteen million three weeks since, this House, and wisely too, refused to
H. OF R.]
The Tariff Bill.
[Jan. 25, 1833.
consider by a vote of more than two to one. We shall must be reduced to thirteen or fourteen millions. Our not probably adopt this measure, at least for some years revenue from imposts alone must be brought down to to come, unless we are prepared to do an act of palpable about eleven millions; and without permanent prohibitory injustice to one portion of the Union, and to the country duties, which never will be tolerated in this country, generally, by securing a permanent and extraordinary in- a higher permanent duty on protected articles than come to our manufacturers; unless we are determined to twenty per cent. cannot be maintained, without producincrease the discontents in the South, and to create a new ing more revenue than the necessities of Government resource of jealousy between the old and the new States. quire. In this state of things, sir, we may throw aside all Besides, sir, these lands were conveyed to us expressly to our theories on both sides of this question. Whatever discharge the claims upon our federal treasury, growing may be our opinions, they must yield to the actual condiout of the revolutionary war. As yet we have received tion of the country. We must surrender all our favorite but about forty millions, while we have expended about speculations to the more substantial good sense and sound fifty millions upon our public lands. We have paid off understanding of those who never refine--of that great seventy or eighty millions of revolutionary debt, for which agricultural interest which, happily for our country, they were pledged by our laws; disbursed many millions controls its destinies. If thirty or forty, or even fifty for pensions and unfunded debt, originating in the revo- dollars on every hundred consumed were required for lution; and we have actually, at this nioment, an annuity the use of Government, that interest would cheerfully subcharged upon the treasury for revolutionary pensions, In- mit to it; but, sir, theorize as we may, if twenty be suffidian treaties, and land account, more than equal to the cient to satisfy the wants of the treasury, to twenty will annual income from that source of revenue. It is not pro- our farmers have our permanent taxes reduced. The bill bable that we shall invade our treasury for this purpose, as reported contains many provisions which I should wish until some of these many obligations are discharged; nor to have amended. Its discriminations, whether the policy can it be desirable to destroy all attachment of the Southern be wise or not, are not adapted to a confederacy; political and Western States to the Federal Government.
considerations will compel us, in the end, to equalize the If, then, sir, our annual expenditures are, for the pre-imposts on protected articles, whether they are the prosent, estimated at about tbirteen millions, and our income ductions of the North, South, East, or West. But the defrom public lands at two and a half to three millions, it tails of a tariff cannot be adjusted to please all, and I shall will require little more than about ten millions from cus- cheerfully support the measure, whatever form it may toms to meet all the necessary expenses of the Federal probably assume. I cannot, however, avoid noticing the Government; particularly when we consider that for some diseriminations in favor of iron and sugar, the policy and years to come a surplus revenue is inevitable, and that any justice of which are, in my view, extremely questionable. permanent increase of our federal expenses will no doubt I am aware that my colleague, [Mr. VERPLANCK,] the be balanced by a gradual augmentation of our income chairman of the committee, has defended the iron duty, from customs. We cannot, therefore, with justice to the as that article is necessary in war. He must pardon me country, authorize, at this time, a greater amount of duty for expressing my surprise that one of his intelligence on foreign merchandise than will realize from ten to ele- and just views should have conceded an exception, which ven millions of revenue. Our importations for two years would sanction the doctrine of protection in all cases past have amounted to more than a hundred millions an- whatever. Of all articles, iron has the fewest claims to nually. If our minimum duties were now to take effect, protection in our country. It was a manufacture before it would be unsafe to assume that amount, as the imports the revolution, and the excessive cost of transportation were much larger than usual; bul, as the minimum duties secures to it a monopoly of neighboring markets. No duty do not take effect for some years, and as the trade and can be more unwise as a measure of public policy. No consumption of the country will probably increase with tax can be more oppressive to agriculture, commerce and the reduction of our imposts, it is not probable that the manufactures. Brown sugar, too, is one of those neces. importations of future years will fall much, if any, short of saries of life which should certainly not be taxed as it is, those of 1831 and 1832, notwithstanding any reduction higher in proportion than other articles. Gentlemen who which may be made by a change in the credit on duties. represent other interests complain of these discriminaof the importations of 1831, (the year so frequently re- tions; but I think the advantage is on the side of those inferred to,) amounting to one hundred and three millions, terests which are reduced by this bill to the minimum I find there were imported, of wool and woollens, fourteen rates, as they will hereafter remain undisturbed, while the millions and a half; of cottons, sixteen millions; of iron, duties on the others must continue to be a subject of leand its manufactures, a little less than seven millions; of gislation, until they are reduced to a corresponding rate. sugar and molasses, near seven millions and a half; and of it is not for me, sir, to counsel those who represent the all other articles coming in competition with the various various branches of industry interested in the fate of this other branches of our industry, about twelve millions; bill; but, in their position, I should entreat Congress to making a total importation, of what are styled protected establish the duties on some permanent foundation, and to articles, of fifty-seven millions of dollars; and of all other do it as speedily as possible. dutiable and free articles, forty-six millions. Of the total We have been told, sir, that we passed a bill in July imports, about seventy millions of dutiable articles, chief. last, and that it is improper to pass another before that ly of the protected class, are estimated to have been con- takes effect. Under other circumstances this objection sumed in the country. While the exports of the country would be 'a strong one; but I appeal to every gentleman continue to be between sixty and seventy millions, inde- whether that act does not leave an annual surplus of many pendent of the profits and earnings of our commerce and millions, and whether it is expedient to allow the session navigation in the foreign trade, there cannot be, after to pass away, when we know that the revenue will exceed 1836 or 1837, any considerable reduction from the above the wants of Government. We deceive ourselves, sir, if estimate. A duty of twenty per cent. upon the protected we suppose that the great revolution in our revenue laws, articles, and of ten upon the others, would yield a nett demanded by the extinguishment of the public debt, can revenue of about eleven millions, which, with the income be accomplished in one or two sessions. We must be infrom public lands, would make an aggregate receipt into spired if we could regulate our indirect and fluctuating the treasury of near fourteen millions annually.
to produce an amount equal, or even nearIt is in vain, sir, for us to attempt to evade' or to post- ly so, to our expenditures. This question must employ pone this question. Our revenue from customs and pub. Congress for many sessions to come. The act of July last, lic lands, now estimated at twenty-one millions annually, I together with our revenue from other sources, leaves a
JAN. 25, 1833.]
The Tariff Bill.
[H. OF R.
surplus, varying according to the estimates of gentlemen, by the treasury, and by pretending to countervail acts of from six to eight millions annually. It is neither pru. which were not in existence; still the acts of 1828 and dent, wise, nor just, tu postpone the reduction of our re- 1832 are the laws of the land, and as such must be revenue, and permit an accumulation of twenty or thirty mil- spected and executed. But, sir, while we are not to be lions in the treasury to put in jeopardy every interest, driven from our course, on either of these great questions, and even the Union itself. We are also told that this is by the attitude of South Carolina, I must disclaim ali parnot the time for acting upon this question; true, sir, this ticipation in those vindictive passions which some gentle. is not the most proper time, for that time has passed; this men have displayed in this debate. The condition of that question ought to have been adjusted, so far as our inter- State is with me a subject rather of regret than of angry nal interests were concerned, two or three years ago, feeling. Whether nullification shall perish or not, on the when our attention was first called to it by the President. soil from whence it sprung; whether her cause shall fail It was the interest as well as the duty of all concerned or triumplı, the commerce of that State must be suspendin our manufactures to have come forward with patriotism, ed; public confidence must be destroyed; and her ineviand to have submitted to a change which was rendered table doom will be poverty and ruin, aggravated, perhaps, inevitable by the altered condition of our finances. Had by the reflection, that the arrow with which she is woundsuch a course been adopted, we should have witnessed no ed is "feathered from her own wing." But though, in discontent in the South; and I appeal to gentlemen whe-adjusting this revenue question, we ought not to be influther they would not have secured for our manufacturers enced by the conduct, condition, or ultimate fate of South inuch higher imposts than they will ever be able to obtain Carolina, there are some considerations which I trust will hereafter. The longer this adjustment is postponed, the have their influence on every generous, every noble mind. more embarrassing will it be to our internal interests. 1 lf, sir, in discharging a great public duty,' it should so pray gentlemen to reflect whether it can be for the inte- happen that our legislating now might stay the uplifted rest of our manufacturers to have this question agitated arm of one of our countrymen, if it should stop the effufrom session to session. Let them consult our old and sion of one drop of American blood, is there one, convincskilful manufacturers, those who are unconnected with ed of the propriety of this measure, is there one among politics, and a large majority of them will tell you, “we us so callous to every impulse of humanity, so dead to care not so much what your rate of duty be, but spare us every lofty sentiment of patriotism, as to postpone the bill, the embarrassments growing out of your perpetual legis. lest he might be suspected of yielding to South Carolina lation, make it what you will; but establish your laws Let us not, Mr. Chairman, mistake stubborn prejudice for permanently, and leave us hereafter undisturbed.” Such, stern patriotism; or, from some less respectable, less digsir, would be the language of every man who depends on nified motive, postpone our obligations to the country. his industry, frugality, and enterprise. It is surely time, There are, however, other considerations more comsir, that we should cease to legislate on this subject. For prehensive which should not be overlooked; we cannot seventeen years our manufacturers have been made, most be indifferent to passing events to the disturbed rela. wantonly too, the sport and victim of ambition. Not, sir, tions of the Union; we cannot be ignorant of the cause of that noble passion, which seeks a glorious name by labor- the discontent which now prevails from this to the boring to increase the prosperity of nations, and to improve ders of Louisiana, nor ought we to disregard the consethe condition of the human race, but that contemptible quences which may flow from it. It is difficult, sir, for sentiment, which tempts us to make the industry of our us to persuade ourselves that we have been, for many country subservient to political fortunes; to regulate our years past, legislating on principles totally incompatible manufacturing policy according to the fluctuations of par- with the confederate form of our Government.
The exties, and to advocate or abandon, as it may suit the pur-tinguishment of our public debt has suddenly arrested pose of the hour, any and every constitutional principle the progress of such measures, and substituted for deor public measure proposed, in order to secure the short- bates about woollens, cottons, iron, and sugar, questions lived honor of administering the affairs of Government. It involving not only constitutional powers, but the fundais time, sir, to make an effort to rescue our internal in- mental distinction between a confederate and a national dustry from the uncertain guardianship of such ambition, Government. We are now, sir, in a new latitude; we from the questionable friendship of all such politicians, no have a broad horizon; unskilful observations or false matter to what party they may belong.
reckonings may lead us into difficulties and dangers This measure is opposed, sir, upon another ground: it which we are unwilling now to suppose possible. In must be postponed to another Congress, because South taking an enlarged view of the condition of our finances, Carolina threatens to viol.te our laws! We cannot dis- of our form of Government, and of the object of the high charge our duty to our country, because South Carolina is duties we have imposed, we must be convinced that, about to engage in a war with our revenue laws! In ad- whether wise or unwise, right or wrong, constitutional justing our revenue to our expenditures, what have we to or not constitutional, the benefits or injuries of high prodo with the terrors of her ordinance, or the defiance of tecting duties cannot be common to all the States, and her convention? Are we, sir, to be driven from our that we must return to imposts for revenue, or abandon course, and to postpone our public obligations? Are we to all hope of preserving the Union in harmony and pros: continue some six or eight millions of unnecessary taxes perity. Waiving all argument, let us admit that such upon the country, because a portion of the people in one measures are wise and just in France or Great Britain, of the four and twenty States have declared our laws to would they still be so if these Powers belonged to a conheunconstitutional, and their determination to resist them? federacy? Suppose that, in some convulsion like the past, Certainly not, sir. We are called upon to discharge the the Governments of that continent were to be overturned double duty of reducing our revenue, and of adopting by some man greater than Napoleon-some second Washmeasures to execute our laws: for however unwise I may ington; that, instructed by an admirable example, the deem the latter, while they continue they must be execut- various States of that continent had determined to set ed. No gentleman can be more opposed to this system aside their partial alliances and leagues; had assembled in than lam; I consider it the impoverishing offspring of pub-convention, and voluntarily associated in one general lic debt, which must perish when its parent dies. I be- union; that they had resolved to terminate forever their lieve these laws to be unwise and unjust, but I cannot internal wars by removing the causes, by abandoning persuade myself that they are unconstitutional. We bave their commercial restrictions, and by establishing a comabused the powers to levy imposts and to regulate com- mon treasury, army and navy, for the common defence, merce, by imposing duties when they were not required Suppose that Spain, Italy, Switzerland, France, Great
H. OF R.]
The Tariff Bill.
[JAX. 25, 1853.
Britain, nay, all Europe, reserving to each State its juris. Slate." We disclaim any such distinction. We are in diction over its internal concerns, had surrendered these debted to the bounties of nature, to a happily constructed few but great powers to a common Government, and had constitution, a wisely administereil State Government, formed a European Federal Union, would it be wise or and the blessings of our Federal Union, for unparalleled just in France and Great Britain, forming with other prosperity, for great power and resources. States a mere majority, under the pretext of levying grateful for these, not that they may enable us to exertaxes for the use of the commun treasury, to impose re- cise any empire over the destinies of this republic, but strictions on the other members of the confederacy? that we may win the confidence of our confederates by Would any statesman sacrifice the rights of a part, and our patriotism and justice; and that, in all our internal disthe peace of all Europe, in a speculative experiment to tinctions, whether resulting from geographical prejudices force the growth of manufactures in one quarter of their or from the struggles of ambition, it may be our proud Union? Not less unwise and unjust is this attempt of ours office to mediate between the North and the South, and to apply this policy to a confederacy of States spreading to restore tranquillity to our country. over a vast continent, and embracing almost all the cli Mr. IRVIN, of Obio, then obtained the floor. I am mates and productions of the globe. We may appeal to aware, said he, that much time has already been consumpast authorities; we may resist this reform from session to ed in the discussion of the provisions of this bill, and that session, but a struggle to perpetuate this policy, if perse- great anxiety exists with many members to bring it to a vered in, must terminate in a dismemberment or a conso. close as speedily as possible. I am also aware of the fact lidation of the Union; either of which would be fatal to that there are many other important subjects pending the peace and prosperity of our country, and would visit here, which imperiously demand the attention of the upon the people of this continent internal wars and all the House; but the present is one of so much interest, and is calamities incidental to Governments depending for their calculated to make such deep and lasting impressions, existence on military power-Governments ruling in de- that I deem it a duty to claim the attention of the comfiance of public opinion. Continue this contest, adhere mittee, for a very limited period of time, while I explains to past legislation, and you will have questions infinitely the reasons which will influence me in voting for or more alarming than nullification; you will hear more of against the provisions of this bill. the revolutionary doctrine of secession, and, what would It is no part of my intention now to enter into the policy be equally fatal to the Union, you would have grave pro- of originating a system for the protection and encouragepositions for a convention of the States. Whatever form, ment of manufactures made of materials which are prosir, a question of this kind may assume, whether of seces. duced in the country. That question has been so resion or convention, the contest between the North and peatedly agitated in this House, and in all the journals of the South must inevitably terminate in "an appeal from the country, that the reasons for and against it are not the cancelled obligations of our constitutional compact to only familiar to every member here, but must be so to original rights—to the law of self-preservation.” every reading and intelligent man in the country. If a
it is easy, sir, to avert all these calamities, and to put succession of Presidential recommendations for forty an end to these debates about secession and convention, years, and if a succession of legislative enactments for by revising our revenue laws with amity and justice, and the same period, can be regarded as indications of the by adhering to the spirit as well as to the letter of our national will, then, indeed, we may with safety conclude, federal constitution. 'Reduce the revenue to the expen- if any great question of political economy can become ditures of the Government, arrange the taxes en equal the settled policy of the land, that this is one of that and just principles, reform the abuses of past legislation, character, and cannot now be disturbed without doing inleave the states undisturbed in their jurisdiction over calculable mischief. Perhaps there is nothing more vitally their internal concerns, and confine our Federal Govern- important to the well-being, to the happiness and prosment to the few but great powers necessary to defend our perity of the community, than stability in our laws and country, to extend our intercourse abroad, and to enlarge institutions. If we adopt one policy thi
year, another the resources—the power and glory of the Union: make the next, and still another the succeeding year, it is utterthese reforms in the administration of our federal con. ly impossible to conform to each successive arrangement, cerns, and the peace of this American continent, and the and our laws, instead of conferring safety, will be regardunion of this great republic, will continue undisturbed and ed as the idle emanations of the day, and must, and unbroken for generations to come.
necessarily will, sink into just and merited contempt. Though other views have been, in this debate, attri In order to test the correctness of the positions here buted to New York, these are the results which will in- assumed, I will advert to a few of the branches of indusduce her to persevere in her efforts to adjust this question. try which have been brought into existence by the inTo accomplish these great purposes, she will, as hereto. ducements that have been held out, and the protection fore, when our Union was threatened, unite with the which has 'been offered to those who should embark in other members of our confederacy in a spirit of patriotism them. We are informed by a convention of the friends of and justice. In some portions of our State we have anti- domestic industry, which convened in the city of New cipated the necessity of a change in our revenue laws. York in October, 1831, and I have no doubt of the corYou have been told by the gentleman from Connecticut rectness of the statements, that there was then invested [Mr. IngenSOLL] that a revolution of opinion commenced in the growth and manufacture of wool, in the United with us many years ago. We bave since seen it extending States, the sum of one hundred and sixty-seven million into other districts, and spreading through New Hamp). five hundred thousand dollars, and that the products from shire and Maine. The time has now arrived when we the manufacture of wool were worth, annually, the sum may all concur. The condition of our finances, and the of forty million dollars. In coming to this conclusion, the inevitable necessity of reducing our revenue, enable us crop of wool for the year 1831 was estimated at twenty to unite in a spirit of mutual concession to restore har- million dollars, and its manufacture to the like sum. We mony and to preserve the Union. The attitude of our are also informed by the same convention, that the cotton State-is happy and imposing; she has no special interests crop of the United States for the year ending on the 18th to tempt her to substitute local for general considerations; of October, 1831, amounted to 1,038,847 bales, equal to her associations, commercial and political, and all her at-375,925,302 pounds, and that mere than one-fifth of the tachments, are with the Union. Our opponents, perhaps whole amount was consumed in the United States. It was to excite the jealousy of the other members of the confe- estimated that the product, allowing that it was increased deracy, have honored her with the title of the “ Empire fourfold in the process of manufacture, must be four
Jan. 25, 1833. )
The Turiff Bill.
(H. OF R.
fifths of that of the cotton crop, equal in value to the whole must enter into general consumption. Those duties will export. If we estimate the cotton crop of that year at ten principally be collected from articles of clothing, such as cents per pound, it would be worth the sum of 37,592,530 are used in every portion of the Union, which, perhaps, dollars, the four-fifths of which being the value of the manu- will distribute the burdens of Government more equally factures from that article in this country, amounts to the sum than any other system that can be devised. of 30,074,024 dollars. These two branches of our manu If it has become necessary to make a further reduction, factures alone, without reference to the other great inte- and at this time, then two inquiries present themselves. rests which have grown up under the protection afforded Have we the necessary information before us? and if so, them by the laws, present an annual addition of fifty mil. are the provisions of this bill such as to commend themlion dollars to the productive labor of the country. The selves to the approbation of the House? question, therefore, is not whether we shall originate a Previous to the investigation of the tariff of 1828, a protective system, but whether we shall destroy insti- committee of this House was required to collect such intutions which have sprung up under the fostering care formation as might shed light upon the subject, and for of the Government. It is, more properly speaking, a that purpose was invested with power to send for persons subject in which is involved the inquiry, whether the pe. and papers. The committee performed the duties asriod has now arrived in which it has become an imperious signed to it, and furnished to the House a volume of tes. duty to destroy those fair fabrics of national skill and timony, collected from those who were best acquainted industry, and to transfer to foreigners the manufacture with the then situation of the manufacturing interests. of the raw materials, and, with it, the fifty million dollars At the last session of Congress, when the subject was which are now made here from the manufacture of these again likely to be brought before the House, as early as articles. These are grave questions, of deep import, and the 16th of January, resolution was offered to the House ought not to be approached hastily, nor without the ut- by direction of the Committee of Ways and Means, and most circumspection.
was adopted on the 19th, by which the Secretary of the In 1830, our exports amounted to about seventy mil- Treasury was requested to collect such facts and informalions, and the imports for the same period to nearly that tion as might be in his power, of the extent and condition, sum. In 1831, the exports amounted to eighty.one mil- generally, of the manufactures of wool, cotton, hemp, lion dollars, and the imports to one hundred and three iron, sugar, and salt, and such other articles as were mamillions, making an excess of importation of twenty-two nufactured to any considerable extent in the United States, millions over and above the exports of that year. For the and to report the same to the House during the session, sake of brevity, I speak in round numbers. This excess and as early as might be practicable, for the information must operate as a debt, and cannot fail to drain the country of Congress. And, in transmitting the information, he was of its specie or metallic currency to that extent. The also requested to accompany it by such a tariff of duties ports of the principal Powers of Europe may be said to on imports, as, in his opinion, might be best adapted to be almost literally closed against the breadstuffs of this the advancement of the public interest. On the 19th of country, which form the great staple commodities of the January another resolution was offered to the House by Middle and Western States; and we now and at all times the chairman of the Committee on Manufactures, by have imported as much as we export, and, owing to the which the Secretary of the Treasury was required to ob. corn laws and other obstructions in Europe to our export tain information of ihe quantities and kinds of the several trade, it is believed to be utterly impossible to increase articles manufactured in the United States during the our exports to any considerable extent. All the manu- year; particularly those of iron, cotton, wool, hemp, and factures we now import, and all we make, are cssentially sugar, and the costs thereof; also, the quantities and costs necessary to our comfort and convenience; and if we suc- of similar articles imported from abroad, during the same ceed in putting down the workshops of this country, year, and to lay the same before the House.
On the 27th which now furnish a supply of clothing nearly equal to of April the Secretary of the Treasury made his report five-sixths of the whole of our domestic exports, can the to the House, accompanied by the information he had advocates of this bill tell me from whence we are to re- collected, and a bill for regulating the duties on imports. ceive a supply of clothing equal to the wants of the The report of the Secretary, and the accompanying pacountry? And if other nations, by their skill and indus- pers, were referred to the Committee on Manufacturer; try, can supply the demand, can the advocates for pros and, on the 23d of May following, that committee reporttrating home industry tell me in what way we can pay ed a bill to the Ilouse, which, with some amendments, affor the increased importations? As it now is, by an ex. ter undergoing a most elaborate discussion, passed this change of commodities, we find no difficulty in paying House on the 28th of June, by a vote of 132 to 65. This for the manufactures of this country; but if they should bill, after undergoing some amendments in the Senate, be put down, we shall be compelled to forego many of and to which the House assented, received the approbathe comforts by which we are now surrounded, and be tion of the President on the 14th of July, having occureduced to a still greater degree of dependence on fo- pied the attention of Congress, in the manner I bave statreign nations for the very necessaries of life.
ed, for nearly six months. It was framed with a view to I am decidedly of opinion that it is wholly inexpedient protection and reduction, and perhaps no bill of the kind to collect more revenue than is absolutely necessary for a was ever sustained by such decided majorities in both wise and frugal administration of the affairs of Govern- Houses of Congress. These facts are here stated for the ment. If the practical effects of the act of the last ses- purpose of showing with what caution this interesting sub, sion will be the production of more revenue than is ne.ject has heretofore been approached, and how guarded cessary for these objects, I am willing and anxious that a Congress has been, lest, by some inadvertence, an injury further reduction should take place; but in making that might be done to some one of the great interests which are reduction, I am as decidedly of opinion that the imposition now identified with our national and individual prosperity. of duties should be so regulated as to give the utmost pos The act of the last session was made to take effect from sible protection to the existing institutions of the country. and after the 3d day of March next; and before it has An adherence to this principle, in my humble opinion, is gone into operation, we who voted for its provisions, are nothing more than the manufacturers have the right to de- called upon to retrace our steps, and to lower the duties mand, as they were induced by the legislation of Congress on protected articles, and to raise them on others not to embark in their present pursuits. "If we yield to them coming in competition with home productions.
This bill, this little boon, it cannot operate injuriously to any, as after the year 1835, imposes a duty of fifteen per cent. the articles upon which the highest duties will be imposed on imported wool, the cost of which does not exceed